Toronto, Ontario – Ontario is continuing to take steps to create more opportunity for producers of craft beer by supporting the growth of small breweries in local communities across the province.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, was at Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto to highlight changes to the Small Beer Manufacturers’ Tax Credit included in the 2018 Ontario Budget. If passed, changes would enable more breweries to expand their operations, create jobs and fuel economic growth. Changes are proposed to come into effect retroactively, starting March 1, 2018.
These changes build on previous measures the government has taken to support small breweries in Ontario, including:
- Expanding the sale of beer to more than 350 grocery stores, with at least 20 per cent of beer shelf space reserved for small brewers’ products. Eventually beer will be available in 450 grocery stores.
- Allowing breweries to have a bar or restaurant at each of their licensed manufacturing sites.
- Reducing the beer tax rate from 90 cents per litre to 40 cents for sales of microbrewery beer.
- Removing the tax on up to 10,000 litres of beer/year for product promotion at on-site retail stores (e.g., samples or tastings).
- Developing a new agreement to strengthen the position of small and craft brewers, including improved product placement, shelf space and other marketing practices in the Beer Store locations.
Ontario’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and over 65, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The proposed changes to the Small Beer Manufacturers’ Tax Credit includes increasing the amount of support for brewers with taxable sales between 75,000 and 200,000 hectolitres, and increasing the worldwide production eligibility for the credit from 150,000 to 300,000 hectolitres.
- Craft beer is a rapidly expanding sector in Ontario, employing thousands of people in direct brewery jobs, and generating more than $89 million in sales in 2016/17 at the LCBO.
- Currently, there are 250 craft breweries currently operating across Ontario, approximately 133 of which sell product via the LCBO network.
- In 2017, the craft beer industry estimated that there was more than $370 million in sales of craft beer in Ontario, up from $240 million in 2015.
“Ontario’s innovative and thriving small breweries support local agriculture, spur economic growth and deliver new and exciting products to consumers. That’s why we are delighted to provide continued supports to help small breweries make long-term investments to grow and expand their businesses — creating good jobs in communities across the province.” Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.
“The OCB is committed to further strengthening Ontario’s reputation as a centre of craft brewing excellence and today’s announcement is a critical step on that path. We have already seen the positive impact of ongoing government commitment to this industry with 250 independent craft breweries now open and growing in over a hundred communities, generating thousands of jobs and an economic impact in all corners of the province. The new supports announced today will certainly help accelerate that growth. It is a great day for the craft beer industry and a great day for Ontarians who enjoy locally made craft beer.” Scott Simmons, President, Ontario Craft Brewers.